July 05, 2011

Warwick Skills Portfolio; Final Entry

Warwick Skills Portfolio

Final Blog Entry

Tutor: Han-Na Cha

 Learning is a complex process that follows an epistemological dynamic perspective that does not follow a presupposed positivist agenda about the best recipe for optimum learning. It takes the individual as a unique case that is in direct contact with constantly changeable factors such as the environment including the significant others’ support as well as colleagues and genetic considerations. The power of the Warwick skills portfolio programme is that it follows a systematic approach to learning that takes all these factors into considerations, builds bridges between them, and develops new ones into one integrated system. This paper proffers a brief discussion of these factors with a short reflection of their benefit on the personal level.

1- Within the learning process, each individual interacts with the surrounding environment in a certain way that could benefit or damage the learning process. Therefore, if each individual is made aware of their own preferred learning styles, this might help them hone the previously owned one as a result of inherent talent or nurtured ability while growing up. For example, because I have been listening to songs in different languages since I was a kid, I gained the ability to imitate different voices and understand fully while engaged in a discussion without knowing other learning styles. Hence, I learned not only to develop my listening skills but also to develop new ones manifested in reading flow charts and diagrams. This skill aides individuals improving coordinating the work between the two semi-hemispheres of the brain and maintains salubrious functioning of the brain neurons.

2- Many learners voice their complaints of having low levels of attention, especially cases of inordinate procrastination in which they do trivia matters at the expense of tasks that rank high on the scale of importance. Therefore, it is of vital importance to better know oneself in order to be able to apply a uniform self-discipline that makes maximum use of one’s capabilities and exploits our potentials to the fullest. For example, s tickable timetable that allowed me to prioritise my most persistent tasks at the top of my list without forgetting to perform the less-persistent ones which give a sense of achievement, remove throe burden off the mind-to-do list and boost self-confidence which takes me to my next point.

3- Varying the work routine has double effect on the individual’s motivation because it moves the person mindset from performing highly mental enjoyable tasks to monotonous tedious ones or vice versa. This alternating nature of different tasks develops different abilities at the same time and qualifies multi-disciplinary learners who are able to perform more than one tasks at a time while keeping a balance of averting missing out important issues as mentioned in the previous step. For example, I would move from reading, analyzing, and researching for a long time into less mentally-demanding tasks such as responding to e-mails or organising notes or more enjoyable tasks like practicing my Spanish. Another example could be implied in following a reward system wherein have self-initiated incentive that drives them to work efficiently in order to fulfill other needs such as catching up with friends or doing some spot.

4- One of the most important stages of learning is learning to have a reflective mood on different subject matters. Many think that reflection is restricted to looking back at what a person had achieved with an evaluative or emotional perspective. However, reflection means keeping a researcher log in which he or she can shed a light on their different stages of learning and raises their awareness of the various levels of their development they have been through. Subsequently, this procedure will make them realise and better comprehend how they have changed and evolved as individuals and professionals which will lead to the focal goal of reflection. This is embodied in projecting these achievements on future performances and build on previous ones rather than ignoring them.

5- In addition to learning, organinsing, and reflecting, an added bonus comes self-evident with changing attitudes and orientation. Instead of seeking extrinsic rewards such as grades or better job opportunities, learners start to develop a learning orientation that is crystallised through reaching a mindset that engrosses learners in profound enjoyment and appetite for learning that superseded all external and ephemeral rewards when compared with the intrinsic benefits. In other words, learners will learn for the mere goal of learning and enjoyment. Thus, they will have elevated levels of confidence, conscientiousness, and appreciations of learning and developing themselves on both the personal and the professional levels. As a result, collateral extrinsic rewards will emerge as an unexpected windfall resulting from this learning orientation. For example, although I started attending different workshops within Warwick Portfolio Awards for the certificate, I developed writing presentation, speech, organinsing, typing and critical thinking skills among many others. These skills are cross-curricular that applies to different domains of learning and for the work life too which takes me to the next point.

6- Academic life could be hugely different from real life jobs. Many fresh graduates express deep concern over embarking on this life as opposed to the one they have been used to for a substantially long time. As any new experience in life, being in a professional context demands new interpersonal and professional skills which are initiated by the individual himself or herself and interact with the surrounding milieu. However, before that these individuals must prove they possess the potentials needed by their employees to pass the first obstacle during job interviews. Therefore, knowing one’s potentials and underscoring them better acquaint the employees with these and most importantly allow the individual to choose the appropriate job to make efficient use of these skills. For example, by discovering my strengths and weaknesses, I can perform better self-promotion now and explain it to my prospect job employers in order to facilitate their choice of the most appropriate job for me. My friend and I were considered as early innovators because we bring enthusiasm and creativity to the working environment in addition to being multi-disciplinary and fast learners. However, enthusiasm by itself is not sufficient without economic study, plausibility and long term planning and application.

7- The last personal skill has major influence over the way learners behave and react in a correspondent way in different situations. This last skill makes use of the influence of body language and face gestures on outcomes in different settings. For example, entering a room with a big smile, standing in a fully-relaxed posture facing your audience, and sitting with your hands on display on that table. Although all of the aforementioned might seem self-evident and simple to apply, but their effects can have a major influence on our relationships and our future evaluation by others. For instance, keeping eye contact and using follow-up phrases like ‘’uhm-yeah-aha’’ not only ensures that you have better communication with the other person but they also show that you are an attentive nimble-minded person who can alienate differences with others from different opinions.

To summarise, the Warwick skills Portfolio workshops has changed my perspective on learning in various ways. Now, I adopt a learning orientation, know my weaknesses and strengths, capitalise on my fortes and develop new skills, make use of body language, appreciate team work, organise my schedule, and believe in the power of theories and reflection to advance my career and my personal development. In addition, I can use these new acquired skills and transfer it to my colleagues and students back home.


June 30, 2011

Revamping my Learning Skills

Follow-up to Diversity of Learning Styles from Sam's blog

Revamping my Learning Skills

Since I have become more aware of the strenghts and weaknesses implied in my learning styles, I embarked on a process of improving the ones that I already have and developing new ones. In order to do so, I adopted a realistic action plan consisting of three points in order for it to have far-reaching effects rather than ephemeral ones. Knowing that I am a very auditory learner who benefits from hearing and externalising ideas, a pragmatist learner who wants only the desirable results, and a theiry-alienated learner who doesn't adopt theories or frameworks to apply in real life, I applied the following steps.

1- I have completely benefited from applying the active-listening technique on both the professional and the personal lever. I have conducted so far six qualitative interview within each I managed to train myself not only to follow my own agenda in getting what I want, but also to know what the other person perspective is. Therefore, instead os holding a paper asking questions related to my research topic, I was listening actively to the other person playing-back what thay had said. Exactly like a tennis game they serve and I return the ball to this court. This was done by maintaining an open-hand gesture as opposed to corrsing my hands while listening, maintaining an eye-contact, and doing repetition and asking for clarification. This has given a profound dimension to my interviews and gave the interviewees the impression how important and how valused their opinions are. Not to mention, that I had the confidence of the other person while all of them said that thay had lost track of time and even thoroughly enjoyed the interviews. Applying active listening has helped me grow professionally as a researcher and earned me respect of the respondents and friendship of many of them as they are real persons and not subjects in an experiments. I can say that this technique was the most rewarding one! This takes me to my second point:

2- Because I have never believed of adoting theories and theoretical backgrounds to my real life, I decided to directly connect these to real life. Therefore, I deved into qualitative research books and suddenly I had an epiphany, a plan of what to do, and a way of doing it. I reas very well the pronciples of conducting interviews, research methodologies and people's expected reactions and feelings! For the forst time in my life, I was able to apply my note-taking and organisation skills to draft a plan while I was reading. Then, I refined this plan and made use of my peer-feedback and team working skills to get my friends feedback on my semi-structured interviews. Although I got very harsh criticism, I didn't mind because I knew that it was honest and came for my best interest. Honestly, at some times I am scared of my ability to elicit all this information and personal details wspecially that I started applying this on my acquaintances and friends. However, I realised that this is maybe due to my enjoyment in using a new skill and my awareness that now I can take written theories that I had a static perspective on and apply a kinaesthetic practical application for these in my real life in a systematic way which takes me to the last point.

3- For me, applying this pooint was the last difficult because not only did I have to make a fixed schedule, but I also had to stick to it. However, I found later that I don't need to apply things in a specific order, but I would better do things according to the mindset that I had in the sense I would do the tasks that I feel more like doing. Thus, the result was having a schedule that made me more committed and taught me how to better prioritise things in order of importance and I continused setting out close goals, breaking out huge tasks into smaller ones, and do very monotonous tasks on stages bby varying my learning styles. As a result, I found myself achieving my goals gradually, but with less pressure and more effieciency. For example, I say to myself well I have an interview today so I will read at least this article before the interview and transcribe part of the previous one so I don't get burnt out. On some days, I feel like doing nothing, so I take a very long break bearing in mind to do even part of the highly persistent task on this day.

I guess in the end putting all these three points in action empowered me and gave me more confidence in making the right choices and trusting my own abilities whil I have better awareness and knowledge while I am applying these.

Sam.


June 19, 2011

Diversity of Learning Styles

Unearthing Learning Preferences

In order to make an efficient use of our learning, we should be able to determine the ways we can utilise these learning styles to the maximum. Therefore, we should not only hone these styles in isolation of others, but it is also incumbent that we develop that latent styles that we do not pay much attention to in most cases. By taking the forty items in the Honey learning styles questionnaires, I have come up as an extremely Activist and Pragmatist with corresponding nine and ten out of ten scores. Thus, I felt the need to develop the other learning styles categories, namely Theorist and Reflector or what other researchers prefer to call them ''Thinking'' styles as opposed to ''Doing'' styles.

After careful understanding of my forte points, I realised the importance to develop the other styles which were relevant to my current environmental demands within my MA study at Warwick University. I found out that I have a tendency to do things only when I see a direct application for them in real life. In addition, my enthusiasm to put ideas forward prevented me from paying attention to other people's points of views which left a gap in my knowledge as well as my social capabilities. Not to mention that I do not have a systematic way of performing an organised schedule or organising my priorities. Having realised these gaps in my knowledge and bearing in mind that gradual and focused improvement has positive impact on a person's development, I devised these three action points for my subsequent future development:

1- Because I decided to collect qualitative data for my dissertation through interviews, I will focus on developing my listening skills to get the best interactive results from the other part. I am intending to do so by applying the Active Listening technique in which we maintain eye contact, check understanding, and interact to the other person's message rather than following our own agenda in speaking. This would guarantee optimum exchange of information and engage the other interactant fully in a natural way.

2- Adopting courses of action because of their apparent applicability in real life is a useful starting point, but lacks the critical thinking that would scratch under the surface to find the underpinning theories behind these frameworks. Furthermore, they ensure a better understanding of the way they things function. Therefore, I decided to link the theories I am learning to real-world practice in order to givea purposeful meaning to the act of reading. By doing so, I will have linked theory with practice and even gained a better understanding of the plausibility of these theories in the real world. In addition, I will have acquired a learning-oriented perspective as opposed to a performance-oriented one.

3- Due to hectic study schedules and deadlines, I have always depended on my hunch and what I called ''Creative Chaos'' to achieve my goals. However, this method has not always been helpful because I have fallen short of achieving all my goals consistently without dropping one or two objective along the way. Therefore, I decided to impose a certain type of self-discipline on my studying habits in order to allocate equal time to diversed tasks and academic requirements. In addition, I will prioritise my work on tasks in a systematic way that pushes forward the most persistent demands to the front in a way that could enable me to put my mind at ease once my first on the list is dealt with. Moreover, this proioritising would protect me from procrastination from focusing on the ''Here and Now'' ot short-lived tasks rather than focusing on the long-term improvement ones.

Sam.


May 31, 2011

Efficiency in the World of Academia

Follow-up to Probing the Hidden Skills from Sam's blog

                                                            Efficiency in the World of Academia                                                            

Tutor's name: Ceri Marriott

Being able to become a sucessful learner does not only involve knowing one's fortes, but having the ability to make the most of these. Therefore, I embarked on a process of refining these strength points and gradually bridging the weaknesses. As a matter of fact, this has been the most rewarding action plan I have ever done in my MA study. The points I have taken involved the following:

1- I devloped a trial and error approach that gives me empowerment in case of initial failure, or as I say a now '' a stumbling block along the way''. Having tried to establish a study group with my dissertation group, I faced a myriad of reasons from them preventing us from meeting, although they showed initial excitment about the idea in itself. I guess because it appeals to the common sense.

However, that did not stop me from looking for solution and maybe compromises in terms of the time, availability and the content of our group discussions. I hardly could get them to come for the first meeting and not to claim complete evangelicalism, I had some preservations as well, but I perservered into getting the first meeting knowing how it will stand me in good stead. To cut a long story short, the first meeting was a complete sucess and I can say it took all participants a long time to prepare for it and that might be the crux that made a second meeting almost impossible.

Since it is compatible with my way of learning, I refused to give up and I had to find someone who shares the same ''mindset''. Therefore, I managed to convince another friend doing from a different research group to have regular meetings together. We even lost count of the meetings that we have had so far because we are getting their benefits. I ascribe that to the fact that we now read for the purpose of critiquing and discuss for the sake of learning and honing our speaking and reasoning skills.

In short ''Externalising information is Awesome!!'' 

2- As part of my MA programme, I am doing huge reading on about empirical studies that involve showing all kinds charts and diagrams. I usually avoid reading these primarily because I am intimidated of them. Nonetheless, I took a more intrepid approach and started to deal with this problem head-on. I have to admit that it took me a while to get used to dealing with visuals, but I can sense a noticeable improvement in my progress as I started to become time-efficient in ''deciphering'' them to say the least. Now, I started to enjoy them and I am experiencing a sheer sense of achivement being able to at least partially tackle them. In addition, I am trying to look at them in the newspapers, magazines, and even billboards.......I must have been missing on a lot then!

Putting steps one and two in action made me a more cross-curricular person with a substantial boost in confidence each time I practice any of them. I realise now that regular meetings for group study is not a waste of time becasue it helps cement the information learnt. Moreover, reading flowcharts and diagrams broadens my horizons and made me gain a more rounded personality.

If I am now on doubt of how to spell a word, I write it and compare it with another one that I suspect of. This new strategy in itself has had an amazing impact on me and I have a great sense of achivement now every time I apply these new strategies. The most important trait I have acquired is to adapt ''a growth mindset'' which made me direct my efforts towards certain goals, setting myself more challenging goals upon sucess, ascribe failure to personal effort rather than blaming others like tutors and colleagues, and believe in self-efficacy in performing different tasks.

3- As regards academic skills, I spent now less time reading and more time doing in-depth analysis of the research papers at hand. In addition, I developed a new habit of writing a summary of every article or chapter of a book after I have finished it. Not to mention, harnessing the learning environment to serve my learning abilities. For example, I eat healthier, take fresh air, take regular breaks every time I start to feel tired before I get burnt out.

Although the latter point seem a little irrelevant as everyone rant about them, but they seiously work. For example, I have a regulat routine of waking up and sleeping every day, two ''ME'' hours in the morning checking e-mails and facebook and watching some sitcoms. I have a new novelty as I go after five o'clock to ''Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa to take fresh air and finish my reading, though my favourite part is feeding the squirrels and ducks.

In conclusion, learning strategies are not only about academic development and doing boring chores to sap our energy, but they have the potential to implement personal development, attitude adjustment, and increase our self-confidence.

I am now taking extra workshops towards refining my skills just for the sake of enjoyment and personal fulfillment.

Thanks a million Ceri for this workshop as it is time for to go the Garden now!

Sam.


Researcher's Bais; Putting Critical Thinking into Pratice

Follow-up to Critical Thinking – Meta Skills Portfolio from Sam's blog

                                                       Researcher's Bais; Putting Critical Thinking into Pratice

Tutor's name: Austin Griffths

For the last couple of weeks I faced a huge challenge manifested in choosing empirical research articles and critique them in a way that contributes to the development of my MA study. Although I had a rough idea of what articles to choose, I was quite clueless to the way I should approach and tackle them. Therefore, I started to apply the action plan that resulted in a sequential development as the following:

1- I did the reading on two-phases. One might think that I did the reading of the whole article twice and wasted a substantial amount of time. On the contrary, I followed an approach of skimming through a section or an entire part of an article to get a rough idea. Then, instead of highlighting the important words or ideas, I devised a critical approach.

Now I read each experiment or phase of an experiment with an scrutinising observant's eye. I ask and apply the background and expertise of the researhcer on his or her study. By doing so, I gain an insightful view of how the study was conducted and the ulterior motives for the researcher to do it. This helped me not only to understand the underlying reasons for the study, but also to define refine my own research proposal.

2- After revealing the researcher bias, if it had existed, I would objectively wiegh different variables against each other and compare the existing literature against the study itself in order to perform some sort of personal validation for myself saying '' If this study holds water to me, it must do to other academics. This step empowered me and boosted my  self-confidence because I am now more ''academically capable'' person and my ultimate purpose that drove me to come to warwick is coming to life which is ''becoming research-oriented''

3- One more area of development I would have never imagined to reach to is being finally to deliver the knowledge I acquired in front of my colleagues and supervisors. Last week, I suceeded in critiquing three articles that have carried out an empirical study. I made A4 copies of my critiquing plan to all the attendees and suprisingly, neither me or them needed to go back to them because I managed to present my arguments in a lucid way that called my colleagues to wonder to make notes and asking my questions after the critiquing session.

Although one might think that critiquing is all about finding flaws or gaps in studies, it involves carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the method of research whether qualitative, quantitative or both, size of the subjects, the sampling process, the way the data was analysed and interpreted. Honestly, it is overwhelming to be able to do all these steps at the same time, but a deep belief that this is a skill that is apt to improving is empowering. I do not claim to be a deft at doing all the steps, but I am directing all my efforts towards polishing these skills by enough practice.

4- To recapitulate, by applying the skills linked to critical thinking, I have become a more multi-disciplinary person honing my personal and professional development towards a better sense of achivement.

Lastly, by knowing more about research proposals, I gained the confidence to apply for a PhD scholarship in Cambridge....Cross your fingers for me.

SAM.

 


May 19, 2011

Critical Thinking – Meta Skills Portfolio

                                                                Learning to Think Critically   

Tutor's name: Austin Griffths

While doing my assignments for my Departments at the Centre for Applied Linguistics, I noticed that a great mark for the marking criteria is dedicated to the ability of students to critically analyse their topics. Therefore, I tried very hard to assess my assignments' ideas in a way I would consider all kinds of arguments in favour and against and then try painstakingly to apply critical thinking to them. However, as the MA programme was progressing, more pressure and in-depth critical thinking is becoming required. Subsequently, I followed a course on critical thinking to be able to refine these skills in my dissertation.

In the next few days we are supposed to choose three articles with empirical studies and reported results and then critique these articles from different points of views and decide to adopt one of these studies as a point of reference on which our research within our dissertation will be based. Uopn taking the ''Critical Thinking' workshop, I realised that there is a gap between my current knowledge and current way of thinking and the desired goals by my MA programme at the University of Warwick. Thus, I decided to take the next coming points of action as future orientations for my personal ans professional development.

1- First, while reading my dissertation articles, I will bear in mind to investigate the researcher bias, reliability of the study, and how the method of research was conducted.

2-Next, in order to assess my initial hypothesis, I would follow a three-phase plan to prove or disprove it. This plan involves, assessing points in favour and against, presenting challenging arguments in an unbiased way, and prove or refute articles and studies at hand.

3- Instead of taking the study results at face value, I will follow up a list of inquiries to make me better understand the context and validity of research. These questions involve in a non-linear way, knowing the size of the sample, and how the data was obtained, who is the researcher and his or her bias, and how the data was collected and analysed.

4- The last future action I will pursue a filtering approach towards jounal articles that would enable me to select, choose, and reject any article that is not within the focus of my research. By doing this, I will not only improve my academic skills, but also I will save great time and accomplish a focused study and refined research skills.

I cannot wait to see how applying these will affect my studies.

SAM.


May 15, 2011

Probing the Hidden Skills

                                                                       Effective Learning Strategies

Since my dissertation deadlines are drawing closer, I decided to take this workshop to optimally use study skills in my research. During my last project which involved a lot of work and research, I read so much that I ended up unfocused when it came to putting down my finding on paper. One reason for that is that the lack of right harness of learning strategies in the right place.

Therefore, this workshop helped my learn about myself first and then decide on an action plan taking my Strengths and Weakness points as my launching pad for imroved and efficient learning according to SWAT scale. This action plan has the following points:

1- On a VARK scale, I came out as a very Aural/Oral learner because I prefer to listen and discuss learning. Hence, I will set up a small study group and meet regularly and discuss our learning plans and progress.

2- However, the best learning does not occur because of utilising our best abilities, it also involves improving the latent ones. I discovered a serious problem in my Visual abilities. Therefore, I will try as much as possible to read maps, diagrams, and flowsharts and even use them in my study notes in order to employ the two spheres in the brain. Flanagan suggests that we remember by reading, hearing, saying and mostly by doing new things that we learn.

3-It is not sufficient to just learn new things, but it is also important to memorise them. Studies show a downward diagram showing a decrease in the amount of information we remember as time progresses. The best way to counter this tendenacy is to Externalise the information that we learn in the sense that we learn for the sake of teaching the new information. As a result, we will be involved in a deep process of learning that will lead to a more profound memorisation of new information. The second thing to counter gradual forgetting of new information is to check regularly for how much we still hold of this information over time span and keep refreshing our memory during regular intervals.

4- Another strategy I intend to employ in my dissertation research is to use Cognitive and Metacognitive skills. Examples of these skills could be, using mnemoniics, organising and managing the learning process, and taking regular breaks. The most immense problem I have had was dragging myself to the right state of mind in order to start study. Therefore, an organised learning plan alongside appropriate employment of learning skills, and repetitive breaks will give me confidence and rejuvinate my state-of-mind to start working and researching.

SAM.


May 03, 2011

Note–Taking: A Cross–Curricular Skill

Follow-up to Operationalising Note–Taking techniques from Sam's blog

                                                        Note-Taking: A Cross-Curricular Skill

The optimum use of note-taking in my study made me revamp a new academic skill that is essential to University study. In addition, this skill is a cross-curricular one that can be used in almost all subjects and it leads to broadening the horizons and increasing one's capacity. As a result of using it,

1- I had well-organised essays that helped me to keep a clear line of argument because of my assorted notes.

2- Instead of 'copy-paste' the notes, I started to rephrase the notes taken using my own language and I did my notes under particular titles.

3- Another positive result of note-taking enabled me to work effeciently as my reading speed increased immensly and led to accomplishing more and getting a feeling of achievement by the end of the day.

4- Although I was able to read more, I encountered a serious problem. I had an Academic Indigestion because the reading amount was enormous when I wanted to start writing. In other words, I felt that I over-read for my assignments which is something completely new for me. Therefore, I made an essay outline and followed only the needed notes to finish my assignment.

5- Editing has never been easier and more exciting because I can now enjoy reading my organised essay and proo-read it easily. 

To wrap up, I bore the fruits of my efforts in note-taking to the extent that my tutors gave me brilliant feedback on my assignment and I got distinction in two of them. Their main positive comment was haveing a clear and well-organised line of argument. That was completely due to my polished ability and newly-acquired skills in note-taking.

I would strongly recommend that all students take this extremely-useful course that will stand them in good stead.

SAM....


March 31, 2011

Overcoming the Transient Obstacles

Follow-up to Managing Myself and the Others from Sam's blog

                                                                   Overcoming the Transient Obstacles

As I was applying my action plan in time-management, I had faced some challenges along the way that enriched my experience and led me to improve myself on the personal and professional level, too. Some of these stumble blocks were mainly:

1- Keeping a balance between my academic and extra-curricular activities and I employed an amazing strategy that is doing the most difficult or challenging thing first thing in the morning. By doing this, I was able to thwart my Avoidance Strategies and procrastination in the sense that I expended my most efficient energy in doing the most difficlt part of the day and then divided what is left on the not-so-challenging part. In addition, it gave me self-confidence and a sense of achievement at the end of the day. I felt good about myself.

2- Another major obstacle and time-consuming obstacle that I had not realised before was the extensive use of 'Facebook'. It may cause you to wonder, but it is true because just checking my friends' statuses would waste a considerable amount of time and energy while studying. Therefore, I applied the reward system technique in the sense that I broke down my tasks into phases and after finishing a phase, I allowed my self to check 'facebook'. I have to say that doing this saved me a whale of time ,plus I was able to enjoy surfing ''Facebook'' instead of having guilt while commenting on my friends' status.

3-  After handing in seven assignments already, and have to do wo in time limitations, I devised an achievement plan. In the sense, I made a broad realistic plan of what I wanted to accomplish before my deadlines and then use a miniature day-to-day plan as a Checkpoint System to bolster my sense of achievement at the end of the day.

4- The last point I overcame was fear. I would always divert from the main task if it is difficult and do everything that is unrelated to it. Therefore, I came up with a plan that breaks the daunting tasks into smaller manageable chunks that would remove anxiety and adjusted my attitude from saying ''I have to do this task because I have no choice'' to '' I am doing this task that I will enjoy and learn from.

Learning how to deploy various strategies to overcome the challenges I have faced helped my develop multiple skills, save more time, and boosted my self-confidence ,too.  


Operationalising Note–Taking techniques

Follow-up to Honing Skills on Note–Taking from Sam's blog

                                                           Operationalising Note-Taking Techniques

I have just handed in two assignments this morning and I have a great self of achievement and confidence because I could put the techniques I had learnt in practice.

1- Instead of wasting a whole day doing my references after finishing doing my assignment, I gained an extra day that I used efficiently in editing my assignment as well as my referenicing. This gave me great confidence not to mention that it served ti improve the quality of my essay.

2-Having had a focus on making notes while writing, I did the literature reading bearing in mind only the necessary points I wanted to include in my notes in response to the assginment question. Therefore, I had succinct and well-focused notes.

3- I have to say that writing my notes using Mind-mapping had a washback, or a revision impact after finishing reading for each chapter because tyoing on the computer increases the awareness of accuracy and flow of coherent ideas. In additionm I improved the way I organised the notes in different levels and categories in the process.

I would recommend talking the Note-taking workshop for its huge cumulative benefits that resulted in revamping my writing skills, as you can see form my first and last entries, and subsequently producing a better coherent and well-organised essay...........


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  • I would like to thank you for your invaluable support throughout the whole learning process, too. So… by on this entry
  • Hi Sam, Thank you for your final entry to the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. You have successfully … by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Sam, This is a really powerful reflective account on how you have taken a risk with learning some… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Sam, These are good action points and I'm looking forward to reading updates on them. For no. 3 t… by Han-na Cha on this entry
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